WINNIPEG — The Canadian Diabetes Association is supporting the fight by a Manitoba woman with Type 1 diabetes to have the province cover the costs of insulin pumps for everyone with the disease.
Currently, insulin pumps are covered in Manitoba for diabetics age 17 and under, but Laura Marois believes the province should remove the age restriction.
She says she has used an insulin pump since she was 18 years old and is now 28 and on her fourth pump.
She says at about $7,000 per unit, the cost of the medical devices add up.
Manitoba Health Minister Sharon Blady says the province introduced the age restriction in 2012 based on expert advice.
But Blady says Marois' case raises important questions about coverage and she will continue to work with the diabetic association to strengthen care in the province.
"I mean, for kids, this is one of those things," says the minister. "It’s about managing their care. For kids, it offers them some stability, some regularity.
"I just want to keep a dialogue going, and this raises a really important point about how is it we ensure that folks get the care that they want and need in the long term."
The Canadian Diabetes Association hopes the Manitoba government will decide to expand its coverage.
"This is why it’s a very important advocacy ask that we’re pushing government to adopt," says Kelly Lambkin of the association. "In the end, it prevents certain serious complications as well as a health care burden."
Marois says the pump has been a welcome change from injecting herself up to four times a day with insulin.
"It just feels like freedom," she says. "You can eat whatever as long as you know how much carbohydrates are in it."
The Canadian Press